Monday, 8 September 2008

Total calories

2 loaves bread = 3552 (yes we did eat the crusts!)
milk = 1408
porridge = 2858
digestives = 3832
pasta = 1038
pasta sauce = 145
cheese = 1835
creamed coconut = 665
sweetcorn = 320
soup = 272
beans = 944
jam = 984
split peas = 260
rice pudding = 1660
custard = 608
rice = 256
270g margarine = 1632
500g carrots = 205
5 small onions = 140
apples = 1325
bananas = 1470
courgette = 16
olive oil = 199

total = 25624

average per person per day = 1830

The ratio was probably something like 1900 : 1750 (him : me) as he ate more biscuits and porridge and a bit more bread. Neither of us are very active so the daily targets of 2500 and 2000 are probably a bit high for us. I would guess that 2300 and 1800 are more appropriate. So I'm happy with 1750 for me, especially as I'm towards the higher end of a normal weight for my height (BMI of 23.1) and I didn't feel hungry. However 1900 isn't really enough for an adult male who needs not to lose weight (BMI of 19.5) so I think we probably failed in this respect.

It's Over!

We've now successfully completed our £15 week. Here are my conclusions:
  1. I was a bit hungry on a few evenings. Nothing unmanageble but I think some of the dinners were a bit small (e.g. beans & sausages on toast would be better with a can each)
  2. Rice pudding 5 times a week is too much! However there are other options for desserts (tinned fruit, yogurts, chocolate mousse, custard, homemade crumbles, ice cream) that are nearly as cheap and mean that we can eat slightly less than normal for our main course.
  3. Neither of us particularly liked the dahl, but it might be possible to improve it or vary it a bit with some different ingredients.
  4. Everything else was fine. The 25p pasta sauce was surprisingly good, as were the digestive biscuits and the beans on toast.
I hope we're going to keep some of these changes, especially having porridge for breakfast, eating more vegetarian dinners and meal planning a bit more. In recent months our grocery spending has been about £280 a month and if we can cut that down even to £200 I will be happy.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Other Meal Options

Other meals we considered for this week were:

  • Sainsburys Basics fishfingers, homemade chips and tinned peas £1.22 for two portions
  • Sainsburys Basics sausages, mash and carrots £0.76 for two portions
  • Tinned meatballs in tomato sauce with pasta £0.62 for two portions
  • Chilli (made with Basics mince, onions, kidney beans and chopped tomatoes) and rice £0.84 for two portions
  • Vegetarian 5-bean chilli with rice £0.91 for two portions
  • Jacket potatoes, beans and cheese £0.76 for two portions
  • Tuna and sweetcorn pasta
  • Home made soup
Some of these were too expensive for our £15 week, but would make great budget dinners in a £20 or £25 week. Mainly we decided we would prefer to eat vegetarian than to eat cheap sausages or meatballs, although I think cheap mince would have been ok.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


Today I had Sainsbury's Basics Vegetable Soup followed by Sainsbury's Basics Custard. Now all the other meals this week have been fine but this meal was pretty unappetising. The soup was thin and very salty and even after eating the vegetables (which were fine) I was left with lots of thin liquid at the end which I did not finish. The custard, which tasted fine for tinned custard, had an unappealing orange colour (real custard would only ever be orange if you used very old eggs!) which was quite off putting.

Thursday, 4 September 2008


One of the aims of this week was to eat a reasonably nutritious diet. So how have we done in terms of fruit and vegetables? The current recommendation is 5 a day, but based on what we normally eat I'll be happy with anything close to 4. I should also say that I've been eating quite a lot of free tomatoes that my lovely Dad grew and brought over last week, but I won't count them below since they weren't actually paid for out of the £15.

In total we will be eating:

16 apples
14 bananas
7 huge carrots (14 portions)
3 small courgettes (2 portions)
5 small onions (5 portions)
1 tin sweetcorn (3 portions)
250g yellow split peas (4 portions)
2 tins vegetable soup (4 portions)
1 jar tomato sauce for pasta (2 portions)

and I think I won't count the jam...

so total portions = 64
Average per person per day = 4.6

Not bad!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Breakfast: I had quite a bit more than yesterday - so not so hungry today!
Lunch: A bonus half of red pepper that needed using up.
Dinner: MrsJ made a tasty pasta bake!

Monday, 1 September 2008


First day of the challenge

: Porridge for breakfast today (and every day). I didn't have enough and was hungry an hour later!
Lunch: I had an extra chicken leg leftover from the weekend. All in all it wasn't bad. The cheese sandwich tasted better than expected and I had enough to eat throughout the day.
Dinner: Beans + sausages on toast. Ok - but I couldn't eat beans on toast every day!